Hey, y’all! With this trimester winding down, the mountain of papers, presentations and final examinations seems insurmountable. The feeling of not knowing enough has everyone trying to cram in as much information as possible. And for the majority of us, we’ll exceed our own expectations. I want to congratulate all of those people; but this blog is not for them. This blog is for the people that miss their mark by an inch (or a mile). It’s for the people whose writing assignment went completely wrong. The people whose final was an EPIC fail.
To those individuals I want to say, everything will be okay. There is this stigma associated with failure in general, but especially in higher education. And the truth of the matter is this, at some point in your journey through academia, you will not do as well as you hoped. I read somewhere once that failure is a bruise, not a tattoo. That statement stuck with me because oftentimes you feel like the weight of not succeeding will always be on your shoulders. Well, I’m here to tell you that it won’t!
But in those heavy times, I am so thankful for my grandpa, Benjamin Mays. He used to say, “The only way to find your way in this world is to try hard, fall down and get back up. Come back stronger.” And y’all, he made failing at something front page news. He would tell any and everybody who’d listen what happened, where he thought he went wrong and what he was going to do differently next time. It wasn’t until I got older and started falling down myself that I began to understand. Failure is a normal part of living. It’s not something to be ashamed about, because there is a lesson in every mistake. Discussing it with other people helps you find that lesson and gives you additional perspectives for when you try again.
Michael Jordan, undoubtedly the greatest basketball player of all time, (this not up for discussion people) once said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” So go forth, and fail forward.